Avoiding Digital Blackface, and Other Actions for Allies

Each week, Karen Catlin shares five simple actions to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

1. Avoid digital Blackface

The University of Illinois Social Media Accessibility & Inclusivity Guide defines digital Blackface as non-Black people using technology to “try out” Black identities online. For example, excessive use of dark-skinned emojis or GIFs featuring Black people.

2. Offer a practice interview

This week, I spent some time working on a new talk about my book, The Better Allies® Approach to Hiring. As I mined it for the best practices I want to speak about, I found at least one I haven’t shared before in a newsletter: Offer a practice interview.

3. Be transparent about your interview process

Here’s another tip from my Hiring Guide: Be transparent about your interview process. As tech company Automattic found when they surveyed job applicants,

4. Understand your privilege

After reading the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping from President Trump, I’m dismayed, frustrated, angry, and concerned. In a nutshell, it prohibits diversity and inclusion training from covering a set of “divisive concepts,” including the idea that people are even discriminated against because of their race or gender.

5. Do something, even if you can’t do it all

In a recent newsletter, I quoted Brené Brown:

  • Amplify someone’s work in casual conversations. E.g., “Ji had some really interesting ideas in the planning meeting yesterday.”

Everyday actions to create inclusive, engaging workplaces. Together, we can — and will — make a difference with the Better Allies® approach.

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